The 5 Best Election Day Ideas 2012

#1. The unmanning of the pollsters. What greater pleasure than to see the folks who are supposed to be able to tell us what we are thinking and therefore how we will vote be unable to do that. “Oh, gee, too close to call,” they say one after another. The only polls that are apparently okay to talk about are the internal ones inside each campaign that of course point to their candidate’s victory. We’ll soon see about that.

In a related topic, I can only applaud the potential voter who lies through his or her teeth when approached by a pollster on the street, or on the land line at home (which pretty soon will be limited to cranks over 50 who don’t believe in technological change). Why do we have curtains around voting booths, I ask you? So we can vote privately, thanks. I grant you, they are not so much curtains these days as little walls, making up miniature cubicles, but there is still no copying.

The best thing about a surprise landslide for one side or the other would be the complete disgrace of the pollsters.

#2. The late-season muzzling of the 2 loose-cannon vice-presidential candidates. They had to be let out long enough to debate, but after that, they seemed to be ushered underground. The state of the world is bad enough, so why get us even more upset worrying about one of these two ending up as president? The Canadian border would be swamped. Is this really the best you can do, parties?

#3. Spend all the money you can get your hands on flinging mud at the other guy. Why is this a good idea? Because it is so wrong, making us so much less than we could be, and leaving us all feeling so dirty, that the populace may finally revolt (in a nice orderly way of course – no violence) and make them change it before next time. Oh, all right, that’s a fantasy, but it’s so soothing to think about.

#4. Putting newspeople and pundits on Jeopardy! a few weeks ago to battle it out under Alex Trebek’s rules, not their own. The day I saw it, they were busy embarrassing themselves with all the things they didn’t know. Alex was snooty and superior, as we expect. I’d rather see reruns of that tonight, than watch them all worked up and sweaty with their computer models and predictions, like the talky weathermen finally getting to report the excitement of a blizzard. But who am I to deprive them of their once in four years spotlight?

#5. A little gratitude. As messy and annoying as it all is, aren’t we lucky, to be here and not elsewhere, to have these opportunities and freedoms without thinking about them, to be passionately trying to do better for ourselves and our kids?

Unlike the doomsayers on both sides, I believe that we’ll be fine no matter who wins. I trust our process over the long haul, and believe that when necessary, we can call up our best selves. If that means that we can wind up in the middle somewhere, not teetering at one extreme or the other, most of us will relax and move on to better days. More fantasy? We’ll find out.

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